Radici Chimica SpA obtains OEF and PEF conformity assurance

Radici Chimica SpA, a RadiciGroup chemical company engaged in the production of polyamide 6.6 (Radipol®) and related chemical intermediates (Radichem®), has recently become the first chemical company in Europe to obtain certificates of conformity for its Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF – issued for all aspects of the production plant) and its Product Environmental Footprint (PEF – issued for PA6.6, HMDA, adipic acid, nitric acid, MAB, diamine heads and tails, and CO2).

The two certificates received from the certifying body Certiquality are an important step for Radici Chimica and its environmental protection work plan. This achievement came after signing, just this past July, a significant agreement with the Italian Ministry for the Environment to trial test a new methodology for calculating the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) recently introduced by the European Commission. The new methodology was introduced to improve the availability of reliable and comparable information on the environmental performance of products and organizations, with the goal of harmonizing the different measurement methods available today.

“The time has come for our sector, the producers of PA6.6 and related intermediates,” said Stefano Alini, manager of Quality, Safety and the Environment at Radici Chimica SpA, “to bring some order to the issue of environmental impact values, assessment methodologies and environmental labelling. Having a clear indication of the environmental impact of its business activities is essential for a company. Equally important is using a reporting tool for environmental performance that is effective and common to all of Europe. Precisely for that reason, we decided to experimentally apply this new method for calculating the environmental footprint.” 

“Participating in the European trial testing project,” Mr. Alini concluded, “means we can contribute to the ferreting out of the strengths and weakness of this methodology, thus sharing in the development of a European directive that will build on past experience – just think of EPD and ECOLABEL – and establish the guidelines for all reliable and verifiable environmental footprint studies.”

Product Environmental Footprint…European Commission Recommendations 2013/179/EU officially introduced the Product Environmental Footprint in the European Union. It is a methodology for the calculation, assessment, third-party assurance and communication to stakeholders of the environmental footprint of products and services. The Commission’s Recommendations are based on a life-cycle approach: the environmental impact of a product must be measured by taking into consideration the diverse environmental aspects that may be affected by the product during its entire life-cycle – from the extraction of raw materials and natural resources used in the production phase up to the end of its service life. This methodology defines a set of key Environmental Footprint (EF) impact categories – greenhouse gas emissions, resource efficiency, water footprint, etc. – that the producer, after third-party validation, is free use for competitive purposes, particularly in marketing communications and market comparisons. The opportunities afforded by the environmental footprint are endless. And the European Commission is counting on this instrument to increase the share of green products in the EU common market, by inviting companies to determine the environmental footprint of their products and putting in place incentives and “awards” that stimulate companies to take up the challenge.

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